Jazzin’ Up the PWC Holiday Party

What the piano player saw

What the piano player saw

“I’ve been coming to these [holiday parties] for 21 years, and you guys are absolutely the best band we’ve had at this thing,” said Ben, a Price Waterhouse Cooper executive, during one of our breaks. It was high praise – and this was a really fun, classy holiday party. It was at the Four Seasons in downtown St. Louis, in their ballroom, and we had Steve Kauffmann on the saxes, Tina Hassler on vocals, Mike Schleicher on drums and percussion, and the amazingly talented bass player, Chris Livesay participating in this particular configuration of the Kevin Mitchell 4.

We got this event through the best entertainment company in town, Millennium Productions. And they just sent us a survey, and PWC gave us a Five Star Rating across every single category! (Customer Service, Promptness, Friendliness, Professionalism, Sound Quality, Music Selection, Overall Volume … everything.)

Tina Hassler (vocals) & Kevin Mitchell (piano/guitar)

Tina Hassler (vocals) & Kevin Mitchell (piano/guitar)

What makes a successful corporate event like this? First, we understand that we’re just part of the fun, not the point of it. We’re never too loud, we keep chit-chat to a minimum, and we adjust our set list on the fly depending on what the party is calling for.  Typically early on, it’s a bit more subdued, but as the night progresses, it’s time to break out the blues and the more rockin’ numbers, while still keeping within the “Martini Music” theme.  This includes some Amy Winehouse, Van Morrison, Didot, and rockin’ tunes from Wanda Jackson and even Mary Chapin Carpenter. Now this is on the heels of our mainstay of Frank, Ella, Miles, Nat, Dean, Bobby, and all the great songs from the 1940s and beyond.

Chris Livesay, Bass

Chris Livesay, Bass

How do we keep it fresh? We have an outline, not a schedule; a goal, but not always a plan on how to get there. We listen to the room, feel the vibe, and follow that, and that is always different. We’ll extend a solo, we’ll do a song slower than normal, we’ll suddenly do an instrumental jazz swing song with a Latin beat because the drummer just feels like it. For a jazz band, we rock, but we’re still about the jazz, still about the song.

We’re so glad to have played for PWC – some magic happened, and so did a lot of smiles.

Mike on Drums - Workin' It

Mike on Drums – Workin’ It

Kevin ticklin' the ivories

Kevin ticklin’ the ivories

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